When you think about it…dogs and pick up trucks don’t always go together

Photo by James Jordan

How often have you seen a dog, tongue flapping in the breeze, ears whipping around or cocked and alert, standing in the back of a pick up truck? How many times has that same dog been safely restrained? Dogs and pick up trucks may be ubiquitous in some communities; but unless dogs are properly protected, they may be soaring through the air, being dragged alongside the truck, or causing accidents and injuries to humans and other animals. Soon, the joy of a ride in an open truck quickly turns into a tragedy.

Here are just a few of the problems you and your dog face if he or she is not properly restrained in the bed of your truck:

  • You stop suddenly, hit a bump, or swerve to miss something in the road and your dog is thrown from your truck. Your dog is severely injured or killed as a result. But while your dog is airborne or after he or she has landed, other drivers are swerving to miss your dog and they have an accident and are injured or killed.
  • Flying debris can injure or kill your dog. Even the wind forced into your dog’s eyes can cause problems. Dirt and insects flying into your dog’s ears, nose, and eyes can do damage.
  • Even though you know your dog would never jump out of your truck, are you really sure? What happens if you dog does jump and you don’t know he or she has. You could be miles from where your dog jumped and not even know he or she is gone.
  • Hot metal of the truck bed can burn paws; and even if there is a liner, it’s usually black which also gets very hot.

While some owners believe restraint harnesses are enough to safeguard their dog’s ride in a pick up, the harness can cause serious injury to the dog if the dog is thrown from the truck. The harness can wrap around the dog and strangle him or her, or the dog could be dragged behind the truck as it continues to move.

Sturdy travel crates are the safest way for a dog to travel in the bed of a pick up truck. The crates have to be securely anchored to keep them from shifting or flying out of the truck bed in the event of an accident or sudden braking or swerving. Unless you have a back seat in your truck where you can safely restrain your dog, transporting a dog inside a truck can also cause injuries. The front seat isn’t safe because your dog could be injured in an accident by either flying through the windshield, if not restrained, or being struck by the force of an inflating airbag.

When you think about it…maybe leaving Fido at home is the safest way to protect your dog when you’re out in your pick up truck.

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